I Taught My Son the Art of Relaxation

Curling up in front of a fire, listening to the flames roar, and clearing my mind of the day’s stresses.

Soaking in a warm bath with a glass of wine and a great book.

Rocking in my hammock while the breeze blows and the birds chirp.

Relaxing- it might very well be my absolute favorite thing to do.

However, as a Mom, sometimes I feel like it’s my job to keep my son busy. To point him toward educational activities or imaginative play. To make sure he’s not sitting around ‘doing nothing’ or even allowing him any time to actually get bored.

I spend a lot of time keeping him from being still. Yet, when I think about it- my most favorite activities include doing just that. Sitting still and thinking. Taking deep breaths and sometimes not doing anything at all.

Over this break, I’ve tried to school my son in the art of relaxation. We’ve curled up with blankets next to the fire and just watched it burn. He truly enjoyed the stillness and the only sound being the crack and the pop of the wood. He even told me, “it’s nice to rest by the fire, Mommy.”

We’ve spent long periods of time re-reading his favorite books. Taken extra long baths. Rocked together in the chair, watching our favorite shows together.

I want him to know that life doesn’t always have to be hustle and bustle. That it’s okay to take a few minutes to unwind. I don’t mean being completely sedentary and lazing about all day, but the older he gets, the more time I know he’ll need to just chill out. His new favorite thing to say is, “I’m just hanging out, Mom.” And, I’m totally okay with it.

This year, I want him to know that while playing and keeping himself entertained is important- that it’s equally important to let his brain and body rest. I needed the reminder that we all need a little peace and quiet sometimes, even at 5 years old.

12 Comments

  1. Jess

    January 2, 2018 at 3:13 pm

    We’ve been striving for this for our nearly 12 year old son as well! We make sure we have down time where there is nothing scheduled and no pressure to do anything in particular. I also share my meditation apps with him – we love Headspace and Smiling Minds! Both have sessions specifically created for kids too. :)

    1. mrsbishop

      January 2, 2018 at 4:42 pm

      I never thought of that- thanks for the tip!

  2. Jaclyn Musselman

    January 2, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    Love this and something I’m really working on too. I tend to feel guilty when my kids get bored.

  3. Mary Leigh

    January 2, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    This is an excellent post. My son is usually good about playing by himself, but I still feel like I should be engaging him when we’re home. It’s good to realize that kids can use down time just like adults!

    1. mrsbishop

      January 3, 2018 at 9:36 am

      Yes- I’m sad it took me so long to realize it!

  4. Cassy

    January 2, 2018 at 10:44 pm

    that’s a great point! that’s something i wouldn’t think about setting aside time for. as of right now, my 8 month old doesn’t sit still… can’t wait until she appreciates some relaxation! (;

    1. mrsbishop

      January 3, 2018 at 9:36 am

      You may have a few years to go!

  5. This Messy Season

    January 3, 2018 at 12:49 am

    This is something we are majorly working on in our household. I’m so guilty of hustling around! I want my boys to chill, so I need to model that. (writing this in front of my bedroom fireplace.)

  6. Stephanie ReadsWell

    January 3, 2018 at 9:35 am

    Relaxation is indeed an art. However, we normally teach our kids to be hard-working, and hardly a few parents tell them about the importance of relaxation. Every parent should read this post.

  7. Courtney

    January 3, 2018 at 10:56 am

    I love this! It is so important to let your body rest and know that nothing is being pressured to get done. Especially for kids! I’d love to start this with my own.

  8. Rachel

    January 5, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    Girl, good for you!! I’ve made it a point to instill the ability to relax in my kiddos too!

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